Becka's blog rotating header image loading ... please wait....

Posts from ‘May, 2014’

Keep Calm and Succeed!


Keep Calm and Succeed was the theme chosen for the program held last evening here in Greenville County to honor the outstanding students from area high schools and the teachers who were chosen from each school to be the Teacher of the Year. We got to attend because our son, Mark, was the teacher of the year from his school, Gateway Elementary.

10334478_10203451712748010_7444075300306880333_n(1)

We were served a nice meal which included salad, rolls, beef stew, and cheesecake. The stew was a special treat for us since we haven't been buying much beef because of the prices. We sat at a table with Mark and his wife Katie, his principal and vice principal, and two of his fellow teachers in his grade level. They were a very congenial group and we enjoyed meeting them. They gave Mark a very nice stylus for his iPad to congratulate him.

When we first arrived and while we were eating there was a slideshow of all the honored teachers. Each slide had a picture of the teacher and told where he/she taught. During the program the teachers were asked to stand as a group while the audience applauded.

The students who were being honored each went up to the platform and the MC (Dale Gilbert) told about their accomplishments in high school, their plans for the future, and their parents names. We learned that there are a lot of really accomplished students here in our community.

One very touching moment occurred at the end of the program when everyone was preparing to leave. Two of the young students came to our table to speak with Mark. These two boys, Sam and Joe were in Mark's class the first year he taught 5th grade. They also helped hand out programs at Mark and Katie's Wedding that year. It was really special to see them again and to see how they have developed their talents over the last seven years.

MarkSamJoe

We were very thankful to be able to participate in this special evening in Mark's life.

Becka


Print this post Print this post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

If you enjoyed this post, get my RSS feed or get my posts by e-mail


Small unfurnished apartment


We have a small unfurnished apartment on our property. It has been occupied by many young couples over the years and it's always exciting to see them fix it up in their own unique fashion. Since it is quite small they don't seem to stay very long after they have a family. We never seem to have trouble finding renters though since it's in a good location.

The place was unoccupied over the winter and our colder than normal temperatures caused some roof problems. Rob inspected it thoroughly this spring and decided major repairs were in order--in fact it needed a complete overhaul.

I'm happy to say that we now have new occupants and we couldn't be happier with them. The husband is quite musical and we often hear him practicing his vocal numbers. This couple, like the others probably won't stay around long but we'll certainly enjoy having them while they are here.

Here' a picture of our little apartment:

NewBirdHouse

The new little couple are house wrens. They have been busy building their nest and hopefully sometime soon will have a brood of their own.

Becka


Print this post Print this post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

If you enjoyed this post, get my RSS feed or get my posts by e-mail


It’s the berries


The farm where we usually pick strawberries was hit hard by our cool spring weather this year. As a result they have not been able to open up their fields for people to come pick. Fortunately they still have some berries already picked for sale. We bought a couple of baskets. I froze some and tried a couple of new recipes which I will link below.

MagicCakeBerries

The name "Magic Cake" really intrigued me. Rob and I both really liked this and I will be making it again. I think it would be good with peaches too. The recipe is translated from Spanish. I think some of our American baking dishes may not be as deep as those in other countries. If you try this I would advise you to place the baking dish on another pan to prevent an overflow. Here's the link for the recipe for Magic Cake.

DessertForCrowdBerries

I had seen the recipe for Dessert for a Crowd quite a while ago and have been waiting until we had a "crowd" in to serve it. We had a group of relatives here last weekend and it was the perfect occasion. The combination of tender white cake, cream cheese topping, and fresh berries is delicious! For the strawberry topping I just sliced some berries and mixed them with a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar to glaze.

So, if you have some berries at your disposal I would highly recommend that you try one or both of these recipes for a delicious spring time treat.

Becka


Print this post Print this post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

If you enjoyed this post, get my RSS feed or get my posts by e-mail


Cranberry Almond Biscotti


CutBiscotti

Did you know that Biscotti means "twice baked"? I made these cookies recently and realized that I had never posted the recipe here on the blog. I got this recipe years ago when I was helping at a baby shower. Biscotti keep well so this is a good cookie to remember if you are planning to send some treats to someone far away. They are not difficult to make and you can make them as crisp as you like them. I prefer mine on the softer side so I only bake them for 10 minutes for their second baking.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. almond or vanilla extract (I use a combination)
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the eggs and the extracts in another bowl and then combine the two just until the batter is moist. Add the dried cranberries and almonds and mix thoroughly. Dough should not be crumbly. If necessary you may need to add 1-2 Tbsps. of water to make the dough a nice consistency.

On a floured surface shape the dough into two flattened logs and place on a cookie sheet that has been greased or lined with parchment paper or foil. (Grease the parchment or foil as well.) Bake for 30 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and after about 5 minutes remove the logs from the cookie sheets and cool on a rack for about 5 minutes more. Don't let them cool too long or they will be hard to slice.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Slice the logs diagonally and place them back on the cookie sheets. (I use fresh parchment at this step and place the cookies vertically on the sheet.) Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. (If you like them really crisp place the cookies on their sides horizontally and bake for 10 minutes and then flip them to the other side and bake for an additional 10 minutes.) Remove from the cookie sheets and cool completely.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot tea!

Here is a picture of the dough ready to go in the oven:

RawBiscotti

Here is a picture of the baked biscotti ready to be cut and baked for the second time:

BakedBiscotti

Becka


Print this post Print this post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

If you enjoyed this post, get my RSS feed or get my posts by e-mail